Was there any way Natalie could justify her feelings for a married man?

Use this forum to discuss the April 2018 Book of the Month, "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane
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Re: Was there any way Natalie could justify her feelings for a married man?

Post by bb587 » 21 Apr 2018, 10:00

I feel her emotional attachment to Mr. Glover only appeared after he had already kissed her. She looked up to the man and respected him but I don't think she would have thought of him sexually or romantically if he hadn't made the first move. I feel this is more the story of a man taking advantage of an adolescent. She doesn't know any better and never gets the chance to find out.

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Post by onixpam » 21 Apr 2018, 15:07

Natalie was only 16, and Mrs. Glover's husband was old enough to realize what was doing wrong. I think Natalie was not aware of the bad things that she was doing, she did wrong, but she did not do it alone.

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Post by PlanetHauth » 22 Apr 2018, 22:55

Tbunde5 wrote:
04 Apr 2018, 22:27
Natalie had no positive role models to teach her what an appropriate relationship should be. She also has no knowledge of what real love should look like. In light of that, I don’t think we can blame her for her choices in this regard. In as much as her conscience tells her what she is doing may be wrong, she has been brought up in a dysfunctional home. We can hardly blame her for wanting what she sees as a loving relationship, no matter the cost.
I don't think there's any way to justify someone going after another person's significant other. However, this is an absolutely spot-on assessment. How can Natalie be expected to act appropriately if all she had to teach her were inappropriate role models? How can she possibly learn that love isn't abusive or cruel if all she's ever known is abuse and cruelty? She can't. In her mind, she's not wrong. This absolutely does not justify her actions, but it does explain why she acts this way, and as such, I think it makes her a victim too.
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Post by cianarae » 23 Apr 2018, 13:57

I completely agree with you - I think that sometimes those feelings aren't under our control. We are, however, in control of how we react to our emotions. So while I think there's not much sense in asking someone to control their attraction, I think we can expect someone to act ethically in response to their attractions.

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Post by AmySmiles » 23 Apr 2018, 20:57

You may not be able to stop feelings of love, but you don't have to put acton to your desires. Love doesn't make adultery right.
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Post by Chill01 » 24 Apr 2018, 07:16

It is common for girls that undergo this kind of abuse today to become promiscuous and to seek out older men to form attachments to. In this case, she did not initiate this affair, he did. I think we need to remember that she was not married, she was a child and he was her employer. In today's society that would be inappropriate behavior towards her. He was the one that abandoned his marriage vows, she had no such vows. It seems like everyone wants to blame this 16 year old and let the man off the hook.

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Post by kwahu » 24 Apr 2018, 08:46

That, was her boss, and the last thing she could do is let her feelings take control over her. We cannot justify our immoral actions by the fact that we are 'just humans'

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Post by Natalie Charlene » 24 Apr 2018, 12:58

I have to agree that we can't always control our emotions, especially when it comes to attraction. As a teenage girl, her brain is developing and her hormones are out of control, resulting in an even more difficult challenge for Natalie. Teenage brains and bodies are crazy and tumultuous, and we can't expect them to always make the "right" decision (though right and wrong are just social constructs and do not actually exist).

That being said, the adult man has a fully developed brain, and he knew the societal implications. I think most of the blame rests on him. That's why in real life situations such as this, the adult is the one who gets in trouble, not the child.

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Post by Jmteachmom » 24 Apr 2018, 20:54

Tbunde5 wrote:
04 Apr 2018, 22:27
Natalie had no positive role models to teach her what an appropriate relationship should be. She also has no knowledge of what real love should look like. In light of that, I don’t think we can blame her for her choices in this regard. In as much as her conscience tells her what she is doing may be wrong, she has been brought up in a dysfunctional home. We can hardly blame her for wanting what she sees as a loving relationship, no matter the cost.
I am in agreement! I cannot say I agree with her choices, but I do have to ask myself did she know any other way? All we know from the story is how one year of her life may have effected the rest of her life.

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Post by gen_g » 24 Apr 2018, 22:26

Natalie was a young girl, but I think Mr. Glover was also partly responsible. After all, it takes two to tango, and 16 is an easily impressionable age.

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Post by prettysmart » 24 Apr 2018, 22:35

Its not fair that when so called unethical situations like these take place, all or most of the blame is directed towards the females...I mean for God's sake this married man knew he was married and still decided to be with Natalie plus he is older

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Post by love_b00ks » 25 Apr 2018, 02:12

There is some psychological explanation why kids, especially women, who had experiences like her growing old, fall for older man. They mistake the longing for a "father" figure for love. However, I still do not agree that it is a valid excuse for doing that.

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Post by Kibetious » 25 Apr 2018, 03:16

PlanetHauth wrote:
22 Apr 2018, 22:55
Tbunde5 wrote:
04 Apr 2018, 22:27
Natalie had no positive role models to teach her what an appropriate relationship should be. She also has no knowledge of what real love should look like. In light of that, I don’t think we can blame her for her choices in this regard. In as much as her conscience tells her what she is doing may be wrong, she has been brought up in a dysfunctional home. We can hardly blame her for wanting what she sees as a loving relationship, no matter the cost.
I don't think there's any way to justify someone going after another person's significant other. However, this is an absolutely spot-on assessment. How can Natalie be expected to act appropriately if all she had to teach her were inappropriate role models? How can she possibly learn that love isn't abusive or cruel if all she's ever known is abuse and cruelty? She can't. In her mind, she's not wrong. This absolutely does not justify her actions, but it does explain why she acts this way, and as such, I think it makes her a victim too.
very true for the last statement. The actions may explain why but they will not justify the action she chose to undertake. That is my stand too.
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Post by Lundemelia » 25 Apr 2018, 03:23

I don't think we can blame Natalie for her actions because she never had a positive role model to show her how to act. However there is no justification for her feelings for a married man and especially her actions towards him as it is never right to come between two people who are in love. The situation should always be turned around on yourself and the thought of how it would feel if it happened to yourself should be enough to stop someone thinking of someone who is married.

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Post by NRoach » 25 Apr 2018, 07:42

He was on a position of power over her just by virtue of his age. As with all cases like this, it's the older party's responsibility to rebuff her advances because it's not appropriate.

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